Social Capital and Effects on Sense of Community

Social Capital and Effects on Sense of Community


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Social Capital and Effects on Sense of Community

The term “social capital” has been defined and used differently by different people in different parts of the world. It was originally used to mean the values that counted most in our day-to-day living which included, for example, good will, empathy and social intercourse. However, each of the definitions mentioned relationships and networks which clearly indicated that it had everything to do with these two terms (Blokland, 2016). The modern definition, therefore, puts into focus three factors: relationships, competencies and networks.

Social capital refers to the resources that can be acquired as a result of personal and business networks. These resources are economically valuable; they enable us to achieve our set goals, create value, be successful and to be able to make valuable contributions to the society. They include both the tangible and the intangible assets. The resources are not owned by any individual person but come through network relationships. Examples of these resources include: ideas and information, business opportunities, power and influence, trust, financial capital and even emotional support. It is about the benefits obtained through bonding and social networks.

High levels of social capital can have a huge impact on communities. It can bring a lot of benefits to families and consequently improve the levels of economy in the community. The high levels of social capital in a community is as a result of strong relationships and networks, committed participation among the community members and high levels of trust. This is what enables them to work together for the good of one another. For example, school children are able to acquire support, resources and information and even role models. All these will eventually lead to high academic performances. Instilling positive ideas on one another brings a positive attitude towards approaching things and thus improves ways of living.

It is the way in which a network is put into use that determines how impactful it is to the community. As such, it has positive as well as negative feedback. Every individual has to put themselves in action in order to realize and utilize the resources of a social network. An individual could also purposely invest in social network and expects benefits from it.


Blokland, T. (2016). Networked urbanism: social capital in the city. Routledge.

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